Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Law Firm and the Italian M&A market

Based in Milan and Rome, Gatti Pavesi Bianchi is a leading law firm for corporate and structured financial transactions in Italy. Acting as advisors for national and international clients on the structuring of their mergers, acquisitions, listings, restructurings and financial transactions. Providing legal assistance to banks, corporations, public companies and other entities in proceedings brought before Italian and international courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings. As convinced pioneers in the legal sector, the firm ensures that each transaction is tailor-made on the needs of the client with the aim to find the best possible cutting-edge solution.

Equity Partner Gianni Martoglia was interviewed by the Business Debate concerning the Italian Legal Market. During the interview Gianni provides a brief analysis of the Italian legal system, along with an outlook of the drivers and deterrents in the Mergers and Acquisitions Market.

The Italian merger and acquisition market has aligned itself to the international standards. In terms of principles, rules, procedures and, in general, legal documentation, it enables making deals across borders.

The Italian legal system is founded on a civil law system and on thousands of special laws and regulations trying to regulate any business matter that arises. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have an Italian legal adviser on cross-border deals with an Italian target or when your counter-party is an Italian entity or individual. Being a regulated system does inhibit deal making or closing deals in Italy. Having an Italian advisor such as Gatti Pavesi Bianchi makes overcoming any restrictions or constraints a streamline process.

As in every part of the world, in Italy the hardest sectors are the highly regulated industries, such as Oil and Gas, Energy, TMT (Telecommunication Media and Technology), Public Utilities and the Defense Industry. The transactions involving companies operating in these industries are supervised by special public authorities which, in many case, need to give approval and clearance. In such a case, it is crucial to have Italian advisers that are well connected and who have expertise in handling such complex cases.

Small and medium sized Italian companies (which represent the backbone of its economy) have been expanding since 2015.  As a consequence, the M&A sector has boomed all the way through from 2016 to the first quarter of 2018. Following the recent election and the appointment of the new government, a level of uncertainty is spreading, this has had a significant impact on the public M&A and capital market transactions which have considerably slowed down the pace of the market. Yet, the fundamentals of the SME companies are still good and there is much hidden value, in particular, in the manufacturing sector, mechatronics, fashion, design and furniture and agri-food. Therefore, the main players in the above mentioned industries are undervalued in comparison to the same companies located in Germany or in France.